Forgetting and Remembering the 1918 Influenza Pandemic with Guy Beiner

Episode 40 - December 17, 2020
Painting by Wilhelm Schulz: 1918-The Spanish flu epidemic overtakes the angel of peace

Guy Beiner (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev) talks to Merle and Lee about his work on the memory and forgetting of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic. Guy first provides background about the impact of the Influenza Pandemic and offers an introduction to memory studies and social forgetting while pointing to problems with concepts such as collective memory. During the discussion Guy examines how historical events are remembered, then surveys the different ways academics and the public have discussed the 1918 Influenza in the past century. He highlights key moments that increased attention to the topic, such as the publication of Alfred Crosby’s book on the topic or the 1968 “Hong Kong Flu”. Finally, Guy reflects upon the most recent wave of attention to the 1918 pandemic during the present-day Covid pandemic.

Our Guest

Guy Beiner,

Professor of History Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

Guy Beiner